"Spaceman" as written by Brandon Flowers, Dave Brent Keuning, Mark August Stoermer and Ronnie Jr. Vannucci....
It started with a low light
Next thing I knew they ripped me from my bed
And then they took my blood type
It left a strange impression in my head
You know that I was hoping
That I could leave this star-crossed world behind
But when they cut me open
I guess that changed my mind
And you know I might
Have just flown too far from the floor this time
'Cause they calling me by my name
And the zipping white light beams
Disregards the bombs and satellites

That was the turning point
That was one lonely night

The star maker says, it ain't so bad
The dream maker's going make you mad
The spaceman says, everybody look down
It's all in your mind

Well now I'm back at home, and
I'm looking forward to this life I live
You know its gonna haunt me
So hesitation to this life I give
You think you might cross over
You're caught between the devil and the deep blue sea
You better look it over
Before you make that leap

And you know I'm fine
But I hear those voices at night sometimes
They justify my claim
And the public don't dwell my transmission
'Cause it wasn't televised

But, it was the turning point
Oh what a lonely night

The star maker says, it ain't so bad
The dream maker's going make you mad
The spaceman says, everybody look down
It's all in your mind

The star maker says, it ain't so bad
The dream maker's going make you mad
The spaceman says, everybody look down
It's all in your mind

My global position systems are vocally addressed
They say the Nile used to run from east to west
They say the Nile used to run, from east to west

And you know I'm fine
But I hear those voices at night
Sometimes

The star maker says, it ain't so bad
The dream maker's going make you mad
The spaceman says, everybody look down
It's all in your mind

The star maker says, it ain't so bad
The dream maker's going make you mad
The spaceman says, everybody look down
It's all in your mind

It's all in my mind
It's all in my mind


Lyrics submitted by ShotgunXXWedding, edited by monkey19, J4mag, Intnop, Artemisia24

"Spaceman" as written by Dave Brent Keuning Brandon Flowers

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Spaceman song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentSomeone tried to commit suicide. He wanted to "leave this starcrossed world behind" but the medics ripped him from his bed, took his blood type, and saved his life. That was the closest he had ever come to dying because he flew "too far from the floor this time." It was a lonely night and changed his life. He returned to regular life with high expectations. However, he was caught between the evil of the devil and the purity of the water and was cautious since he realized how precious life is. He warns before people think about "crossing over" they better look at what they have before they leap. He doesn't want them to commit suicide. He says "you know i'm fine, but I hear those voices at night sometimes-they justify my claim" meaning he's still haunted by thoughts of suicide. However, the public never heard about his attempt to kill himself and he is just trying to live and enjoy life now. He finally ends with the conclusion that it's all in his mind and he can overcome his suicidal thoughts.
    erd13531on December 01, 2008   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI agree with Lauren_Leah, too; that interpretation was most likely the closest to the actual meaning of the song. But, just to add a few things:

    The zipping white light beams disregarding bombs and satellites could be the point where he has an out-of-body experience. Essentially, when a person comes near the moment of death, they have a realisation about the life they've led when confronted with the opportunity to either continue onward to Heaven or stay on Earth -- he chose to live. They're angels, meaning bombs, satellites, and all of those things man-made do little to impede their movement.

    Because no one seemed to post the actual meaning of the phrase: the phrase "trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea" is a fairly old one. It refers to a situation where a person's predicament is so bad that they aren't able to avoid the issue any longer. The Spanish version does a little more justice to the meaning; it's translated as something like "to be trapped between the sword and the wall" -- meaning there isn't any place left to run from the whatever it is that troubles you. In relation to the song, he keeps emphasising the enormous loneliness of "that night" and it's probable that during one point of that night, that loneliness just let out all of his issues and it overwhelmed him -- he had no place to turn to try to console himself and, as a result, got sick of the world and attempted to commit suicide. The Killers, however, take the meaning of the phrase to another level at the part where it speaks about reconsidering taking "the leap". Essentially, following the meaning of the song, what happened that night is that the singer was the one trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea without any place left to run from his loneliness; his issue finally caught up with him; but instead of being able to settle himself down, he took the final leap off of that cliff, and into the deep blue sea, in an attempt to take his life. So, having experienced this and found how valuable life is to him, he's attempting to instruct others to really think through their issues and see if those problems are worth taking one's own life to avoid.

    Regarding the part about the Nile, I assume that it could have something to do with the passage of time and the progression of life -- about the rising and setting sun. Basically, when plagued by issues, it isn't as if life simply stops until a person resolves them. Nor is every problem solely directed at one unlucky person -- though it's really easy and common to feel singled out when you have such issues. So, I assume that he speaks about life moving on, both as a way to tell a person considering suicide that evidently their issues will even out and to explain that one death will not stop the world as life will keep moving.

    Otherwise, I agree with Lauren's interpretation, particularly at the part where it mentions the Star-maker and Dream-maker. I think, though, that when referring to the spaceman, he actually refers to himself in a state after he had the out-of-body experience. He's essentially looking down on the planet and the people, observing their problems and how many people tend to 'look up' to god or whatever else they believe in as a sort of way of asking for help in resolving their issues. The spaceman, contrarily, explains that the issues are all within their minds and presumably temporary -- not physical and indefinite -- and to simply look back down and help themselves to move onward.

    That's mostly my two cents.

    Kiiteon December 24, 2008   Link
  • +5
    My InterpretationI could be way off here, but I've always interpreted this song as Brandon kind of lamenting his fame as an entertainer and what it's done to his life, not liking the sort of otherworldly position of being an icon instead of an average person, but explaining how he's sort of come to appreciate it. Here's a little play-by-play:

    "It started with a low light,
    Next thing I knew they ripped me from my bed,
    And then they took my blood type,
    It left a strange impression in my head."
    ---> At first the possibility of being famous was just kind of an appealing mirage, but once he got successful right away with Hot Fuss and became an instant celebrity, he was immediately "ripped from his bed" - torn away from what was comfortable and familiar to him, and he had the eyes of the world probing at him and looking into his personal life (taking his blood type). And obviously, as is the point of this song, all of this left a strange impression in his head.. fame feels incredibly disconcerting and unusual.

    "You know that I was hoping,
    That I could leave this star-crossed world behind,
    But when they cut me open,
    I guess that changed my mind."
    --->First two lines are self-explanatory, the stars referring to other media "stars." He wasn't comfortable with this world and wanted to go back to his regular life. But he eventually got relatively used to fame, having his mind changed when he was "cut open" - again, metaphor for people looking into him as a person more than he's comfortable with.

    "And you know I might
    Have just flown too far from the floor this time,
    Cause they calling me by my name"
    --->Self-explanatory under this interpretation. He's nervous that he's too far-removed from what he was used to for so much of his life, and an example of that is hearing people calling him by his name - hearing people, like me, who he has never met or heard of talk about Brandon Flowers as if they're familiar with him. I imagine it'd be a really strange feeling to have tons of people you've never even heard of constantly examining and looking at you. Pretty creepy.

    "And the zipping white light beams
    Disregards the bombs and satellites"
    --->What I view the "light" as meaning, here and in the very opening line, is the luster and appeal of fame - the way it seems like a perfect life to have everybody looking at you and recognizing you and your work. The glamour and glitz of the celebrity life are what the "light beams" are - but that perfect portrait of fame disregard the fact that it bombs your old life, taking away what's familiar, and the satellites that are people constantly orbiting and watching you.

    "That was the turning point,
    That was one lonely night"
    --->I don't know what the "night" he refers to is specifically, but it's clearly some point at which he stepped over the line and couldn't go back to his old life, whether it's when he signed a record deal, or first heard a crowd calling his name and realized how creepy it was, or when his first album got successful, or whatever. It's some "lonely night" when he first realizes that fame is actually a pretty crappy, /lonely/ thing where nobody knows you anymore or can separate the man from the image. And that night was the turning point, when he realized he couldn't go back to his old, preferable, relaxed life.

    "The star maker says, "It ain't so bad""
    --->The "star maker" would be agents and record companies and whatnot that just want to gain profit off of other people's work at the expense of others. This is the line that really sold me on this interpretation. The star maker says it ain't so bad.. that's a total descriptor for a "star maker", someone who make a living creating celebrities, telling those prospective stars that it's not so bad, that it's a great thing to be a star.

    "The dream maker's going make you mad
    The spaceman says, "Everybody look down
    Its all in your mind""
    --->The "dream maker" is the same person at the "star maker" - the person who you think is going to give you your wildest dreams by making you famous is really going to "make you mad" by putting you into a pretty shitty life. Brandon, obviously, is the spaceman - the one who has been subdued by the "white light" of fame's appeal and sucked in by the star maker, and ripped from his familiar world, cast into a mysterious space among the other stars who have experienced the same. He's warning listeners who want to be famous to look down - look down at the regular world they're used to, because that's where they'll be really happy, because the idea of fame being a noble pursuit is "all in their mind."

    "Well now I'm back at home, and,
    I'm looking forward to this life I live,"
    --->After the initial tours and interviews and everything when the Killers are first launched into the mainstream with "Hot Fuss," Brandon returns home as the initial explosion of popularity dies out and plans to go back to his ordinary life..

    "You know its gonna haunt me,
    So hesitation to this life I give."
    --->..but the fame he has still haunts him, people still know him as the guy from the Killers wherever he goes, and he can never shake that label, so he's giving, once again, advice to listeners to hesitate if they're going to pursue the kind of life he has. Which goes into the next line.

    "You think you might cross over,
    You're caught between the devil and the deep blue sea,
    You better look it over,
    Before you make that leap"
    --->If you think you want to "cross over" into fame, torn between the "devil" that is the evils of fame and the "deep blue sea" of being just another face in the crowd, well.. you better look it over before you make that leap. Think long and hard, because you can't go back.

    "And you know I'm fine,
    But I hear those voices at night sometimes,
    They justify my claim"
    --->He's mostly accustomed to the fame he's gotten over the past years. He's adjusted to it and it's become normal - he's fine. But sometimes at night, the old feelings of disconcertion at his stardom come back to him - he still hears those voices at night - and they justify the claims he's making in this song that you should look it over before you make that leap, the claims that the dream maker's gonna make you mad.

    "And the public don't dwell my transmission
    Cause it wasn't televised"
    --->Because he doesn't openly broadcast all of this about his fame, people don't understand it. The public doesn't dwell on the meaning he's trying to transmit to them in a song like this, because it isn't televised, it isn't openly broadcast. Obviously the world of TV where stardom is the ultimate pursuit isn't going to talk about things like the message he is sending here.

    "My global position systems are vocally addressed;
    They say the Nile used to run from east to west,
    They say the Nile used to run, from east to west."
    --->Skipping past the chorus, we get the bridge, and I have to say that I don't understand the Nile lines. I think in the first line, "vocally addressed" just refers to him singing and talking publicly - what everyone hears from him, and his "global position systems" just refer to his personality, the things that make him what he is, the things that position and guide him in his life. So that line is referring to him singing, in fame, about what guides him as a normal person. I have no idea what those enigmatic Nile lines are talking about, though.
    ~~~~
    Then the song closes with him reminding us once more that he's fine and okay with his fame, but that he still gets nervous when he hears the voices of doubt at night sometimes, and it closes with the repetition of the line "It's all in my mind" - reminding people one last time that the perception of fame as an inherently good thing is totally a mental construct that they should evaluate.

    That's how I've always taken this song to mean. I think every line really points to this song being about Brandon initially hating his fame, growing to reluctantly accept it, but still warning people to "look it over before they make that leap." The idea of being abducted by aliens and cast amongst the ~stars~ as a metaphor for being ripped out of his normal life by fame and thrust into another world is actually pretty clever, and in terms of the lyrics, this is my favorite Killers song as a result. Really subtle and clever song here, but I think the meaning is clear. Of course, the beauty is that we can interpret songs any way we want.. this is just my perspective :)
    zimdelinvasoron December 23, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentHey there,

    First comment on the site. Long-time viewer.

    A lot of the things that I've thought of have already been said and some interesting things I haven't thought of are here too. Just gonna put in my two cents.

    Like others have said, to me it seems to be about someone getting abducted by aliens. To get the visual for a "low light" just think back to X Files. Taking his blood type seems indicative of aliens experimenting on him and running tests. When he talks about he had been hoping that he could leave the world behind, but when he was abducted, he realized how much he wanted to go back to living on Earth. The thought that he could never get back there again made him really value what he had, so he changed his mind.

    Having flown too far from the floor this time, and the part about disregarding bombs and satellites might refer to being in a UFO, something so advanced that it can disregard bombs and satellites. Maybe the aliens are calling him by his name. The zipping white light beams do bring images to mind of lights on UFO's. It was a turning point because that lonely night changed his life and his outlook on things.

    As for the chorus, it seems to be talking about how he tries to deal with his experience. The "starmaker" would seem to refer to God. If he turns to religion to question his experience, in the grand scheme of things, religion says that it's not so bad. The "dream maker" making him mad would seem to address his dream flashbacks of his experience. Maybe he's tried to convince himself that it wasn't real, but he can't stop having dreams about it, which makes him mad. The "spaceman" could be referring to NASA specifically, but might be likened to the government, who tell everyone to look down so they don't see the truth: That aliens do exist and that the government covers it up. And they just tell everyone who says different that it's all in their mind.

    The next verse talks about him after the abduction, when he's back on earth. And now that he values what he has he's "looking forward" to the life he lives. But he knows the experience will still haunt him, so he hesitates to believe whether or not it really happened. The next lines seem to provide a start contrast to him valuing life though, so I could be wrong. Or it could be how he feels after he's tried to tell others about his experience and no one believes him and people start to ridicule him and think of him as a joke (as often happens to those who claim to have been abducted by aliens). So it could be that after a while he contemplates taking his own life. Jumping off of a cliff into the sea. Thus being caught between the devil (who's telling him to jump) and the deep blue sea, where he would jump. Then he tells himself he'd better think it over, before he takes that leap.

    Then he reassures the listener that he's really fine, but that sometimes he still hears those voices at night (in dreams maybe) and that they seem to justify his claims that he was abducted.

    Then he talks about how the public doesn't dwell on his story because it wasn't televised, leading one to think that either the government didn't allow it (the spaceman says everybody look down) or no one took him seriously and didn't put it on the news.

    He then sings the chorus again twice, presumably in the same spirit, but then in the end comes out saying, "It's all in my mind!" This entire song seems to be Brandon/the Narrator teetering back and forth between believing his experience is real and dismissing it as in his mind, as others keep telling him. At the end of the song, he's once again become convinced that it really all is in his mind.

    The story The Killers tell with this song is amazing. It really seems to capture the mental processes of an abductee and what they go through (at least based on what I've seen on TV and in movies XP ) and give a really personal feel to it. You feel sorry for this person. They don't know what's real any more. That "lonely night" really WAS a turning point. His life was completely changed. Now he questions his own sanity, grappling with his experience, real or not.

    Anyway, that's just my thoughts on the lyrics. Who knows, I could be totally off base. Just thought I'd share! Hope someone finds this interesting!

    S'rac
    SractheNinjaon November 06, 2008   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI don't think this song is supposed to be about being abducted by aliens...its more like a metaphor for something deeper.

    The star maker, dream maker, and spaceman are role models to society.

    The Chorus:
    "The Starmaker says it ain't so bad, the dream makers gonna make you mad"

    I interpret this to mean not that the dream maker is gonna make you mad. The Starmaker (person in control) is saying that the dream maker is dangerous, don't trust him. It's like the politics of fear. The spaceman represents another role model (possibly propaganda?) warning you not to follow your dreams because "It's all in your mind".

    Think about it in the context of a revolution. The government (Star maker) tells the people that the revolutionaries are untrustworthy in order to suppress them, and that right now "it ain't so bad". (Like Bush talking about the state of the American economy). It's the government lying to the people in order to manipulate them to support them.

    I just feel that the meaning of this song runs deeper than alien abduction...
    uwbadgers1192on November 06, 2008   Link
  • +4
    General CommentYou guys are breaking it down word for word and i think you just need to understand the point is the guy wasnt happy with life and then he got abducted by aliens or had a dramatic experience that changed his view on life. As the song goes on he sometimes is reminded of why he felt the way he did before the abduction..the key in the chorus is the starmaker and dreammaker...you can basically say they are the voices in his head...starmakers view is that your life isnt that bad...the dream maker is the side of him that wants more..the main reason why he was never happy with his life..and then the spaceman shows up and makes him realize that at the end of the day none of those problems really matter when it could be worse and the guy realizes its all in his mind. Great song..i luv singing the end of the song while im driving in my car lol
    Losingtouchon March 20, 2014   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationComments following stanza, ^^^^ points to the stanza, ------ ends the comment.


    It started with a low light,
    Next thing I knew they ripped me from my bed,
    And then they took my blood type,
    It left a strange impression in my head.

    ^^^^^^^
    He was born of nature with innocence, however it was forcively revoked without choice by man's desire to control via technology etc, and it doesn't feel right.
    ---------

    You know that I was hoping,
    That I could leave this star-crossed world behind,
    But when they cut me open,
    I guess that changed my mind.
    And you know I might
    Have just flown too far from the floor this time,
    Cause they calling me by my name
    And the zipping white light beams
    Disregards the bombs and satellites


    ^^^^^^^
    Distaste with the world led to attempted suicide / removal from society. Again, this was forcivly revoked as he was "saved" by others seeking control. White light referring to visions of afterlife, which are free of the hate and violence of man.
    ----------------------

    That was the turning point,
    That was one lonely night

    ^^^^^^^
    Coming back, seeing the end brought a change. Having been dead myself, I understand the feeling.
    ------------

    [Chorus]
    The star maker says, "It ain't so bad"
    The dream maker's going make you mad
    The spaceman says, "Everybody look down
    Its all in your mind"

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Some have suggested that there are three opinions here, however I suspect there are two and that the first two lines are spoken by the star maker. The "star maker" is saying that one should just deal with life and accept it, and to have expectations of better will only end in frustration.

    The spaceman, however, is a reference to someone more abstract, possibly in support of Objectivism in the sense that reality is but our own construct.
    ------------------------


    Well now I'm back at home, and,
    I'm looking forward to this life I live,
    You know its gonna haunt me,
    So hesitation to this life I give.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    He has accepted that he will continue living, and that he can be in control of his future instead of passivly accept it. Having once tasted the bliss of death, he will forever chase that dragon, however willing to allow its end to come not via his own hand. "life I give" = the end of it, receiving life is birth giving life is death, but the hesitation indicates that he is not so anxious to reach that point now.
    -------------------------------


    You think you might cross over,
    You're caught between the devil and the deep blue sea,
    You better look it over,
    Before you make that leap

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Notions of an existance after death based on a simile towards that which is of this earth is ridiculous. He is noting that those who expect the next world to resemble this, with a proverbial house on a cloud with the physical manifestation of all your dead friends and relative.... well.... are in for a surprise. Think about it, the loss of ego that happens upon transendence superscedes any notion that it will be remanifested. Those who expect what some churches and others promise upon their demise better reconsider, there's no going back, there's no return to the ego that once was, instead the "soul" is merged back into God, many into one, later to be born into many. Okay a lot of this is more my personal feelings than what Brandon was putting into this stanza; I got carried away.
    --------------------------------


    And you know I'm fine,
    But I hear those voices at night sometimes,
    They justify my claim,

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Even though he has decided that he will go through the journey that is life, the temptation for premature serenity is still often present.

    ---------------------------

    And the public don't dwell my transmission
    Cause it wasn't televised

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    He didn't make it public knowledge / news / do it for attention
    ------------------------------

    But, it was the turning point,
    Oh what a lonely night

    [Chorus:Repeat x2]

    My global position systems are vocally addressed;
    They say the Nile used to run from east to west,
    They say the Nile used to run, from east to west.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Man's idea of truth and understanding is always relative, and always changing.
    --------------------------

    And you know I'm fine,
    But I hear those voices at night,
    Sometimes

    [Chorus:Repeat x2]

    It's all in my mi-I-ind,
    It's all in my mind


    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Repeated theme from above, the struggles and the joys all source from within.
    ----------------------------
    kata198on July 23, 2014   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think "Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea" means something different than stated above. I don't think the deep blue sea symbolizes purity in this context.

    I think it means that you're as low as you can possibly get while still living. If you get any lower, you'll be in Hell, with the devil --- if you go through with killing yourself.

    That's how I interpret it.
    9Spaceman9on November 20, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentCORRECT LYRICS

    Oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

    It started with a low light
    Next thing I knew, they ripped me from my bed
    And then they took my blood type
    It left a strange impression in my head

    You know that I was hoping
    That I could leave this star-crossed world behind
    But when they cut me open
    I guess I changed my mind

    And you know I might have just flown too far
    from the floor this time, cuz' they're calling me by my name
    And they're zippin' white light beams
    Disregarding bombs and satellites

    And that was the turning point
    That was one lonely night

    The star maker says "it ain't so bad"
    The dream maker's gonna make you mad
    The spaceman says "everybody look down
    it's all in your mind"

    But now I'm back at home and
    I'm looking forward to this life I live
    You know it's gonna haunt me
    So hesitation to this life I give

    You think you might cross over
    You're caught between the devil and the deep blue sea
    You better look it over
    Before you make that leap

    And you know I'm fine
    But I hear those voices at night sometimes
    They justify my claim
    And the public don't dwell on my transmission
    Cuz' it wasn't televised

    But it was a turning point, oh what a lonely night

    The star maker says "it ain't so bad"
    The dream maker's gonna make you mad
    The spaceman says "everybody look down
    it's all in your mind"

    My global position systems are vocally addressed
    They say the Nile used to run from east to west
    They say the Nile used to run
    From east to west

    I'm fine, but I hear those voices at night sometimes

    The star maker says "it ain't so bad"
    The dream maker's gonna make you mad
    The spaceman says "everybody look down
    it's all in your mind"

    It's all in your mind

    It's all in my mind

    Oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
    jeremygrimon November 16, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is awesome! Rumored to be their first single off the new album.

    I don't think the meaning is that hard to figure out. It definitely sounds inspired by Starman by David Bowie, which is not a bad thing!
    poorlilrockstaron August 05, 2008   Link

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